Pastor’s Column: Evangelizing in an Under-Resourced Community
GOD has called us all to the great commission. No matter who we are in the church.
At Shiloh Temple International Ministries we are no different. Although our church community is very different then a lot of the communities in Minnesota.
Why is our church community different? We have been blessed by GOD to have many members who needed deliverance from the very things they now talk to others about. We are in one of the poorest communities in the city of Minneapolis. So drugs, gangs, poverty, along with lack of education due largely in part to lack of funding and proper resources plague our community.
Shiloh has been around 87 years and in this community for 10 plus years.
So there has been a lot of deliverance in this community alone. Because of this we find many people who come from this area or other areas like it, are willing to go out into the streets in this community and share the great news of JESUS.
Monday Night Evangelism Team
In a day and time where people don’t think young people care about JESUS we have had 20 people go out on our Monday night evangelism team and over 15 of them were 30 and younger. It always seems when the younger generation catches fire for JESUS they are so eager to go and spread the Gospel. One of the reasons is because a lot of them are only just a few short months or years removed from their deliverance. That extra drive and determination in the young people has been a blessing to our evangelism ministry at Shiloh.
With the energy and enthusiasm from the youth, and the dedication from the elders, we have been blessed to take people right off the street, back to the church and baptize them. Through these efforts we have gained new members and have inspired many people. One story that really sticks out to me is when a woman who attends our church told us that her mother lived in a neighborhood we went to frequently and that since we had been going there you could feel a peace and a good shift in the atmosphere that wasn’t there before. So praise GOD for that.
Living in the Community
Another interesting dynamic, we have a lot of people who come out to evangelize who also live in or are from the areas we frequent. That plays a big difference in the relational component of street evangelism. It lets the people know we are not just showing up, then leaving, then showing up; we are here to stay. Living in or close to the community or being from it, gives people a little more faith in what you do. They don’t feel abandoned and hopeless. They feel a deeper more intimate connection and that’s what you want when evangelizing. The deeper the connection the stronger the bond means to them and that’s when you feel the power of GOD more.
Modeling Evangelism After Jesus
We believe that’s what JESUS did when he walked this earth. That’s why HE went to the people. That’s why we go to the people as well. JESUS didn’t stand around and wait for them, HE traveled from town to town, village to village, to tell them who HE was, and the salvation HE came to bring them.
That is our call from Shiloh Temple International Ministries to not only be an evangelist, but the body of CHRIST as a whole, to keep going and never quit. Evangelism can be done anywhere. GOD is not picky with where you spread HIS word, so don’t be afraid and don’t quit. JESUS died on the cross so we could carry it. Always remember for yourself and the people you evangelize to, Psalm 28: 8-9 “The LORD is their strength, and HE is the saving strength of HIS anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up forever.”
Grace and peace to you all and GOD bless you in JESUS’ name
Jordan Borer Nelson is a youth pastor and leader of the Shiloh Temple International Ministries Monday night evangelism team. He took both of these roles on one year ago. He also is youth outreach associate for TreeHouse a non-profit Christian organization where he works with at-risk youth in the 7th – 12th grade.